On the left is June 17, 1975. The middle photo is July 10, 1992. On the right is Aug. 1, 2000. NASA describes this area as tropical dry forest, located east of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. It has been decimated largely because of population growth and agriculture.
What exactly does deforestation mean for our planet? First, Earth’s forests provide critical habitats for millions of plants and animals. National Geographic estimates that as much as 70 percent of the world’s plant and animal species live in forests and cannot survive without their habitat. Experts believe that tropical forests such as these contain as much as 50 percent of the world’s biodiversity. They are declining at a rate of 2 percent of their mass a year, and may be reduced by as much as 25 percent of their original mass by the end of the 21st century.